Album review: Havoc and Bright Lights - Alanis Morissette

By Scott Kara

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Alanis Morissette. Photo / Supplied
Alanis Morissette. Photo / Supplied

You oughta know that it's hard being Alanis Morissette. Sure, she's still doing okay from the royalties of 1995's mega-hit album Jagged Little Pill and follow up Supposed Infatuation Junkie. But imagine every album you release for the rest of your career being compared to Pill and hit songs Ironic and You Oughta Know.

Though Havoc and Bright Lights is not going to set the world on fire and sell 33 million copies, her eighth album does mark both a minor musical and - most importantly - personal change.

She was married to rapper MC Souleye in 2010 and they had their first child, named Ever, later that year. So this album is about becoming a mummy (though it's not overt) and "dream-come-true love".

But Morissette's restless and questioning mind also comes through with the butting of heads on Lens ("now it's your religion against my religion") and cutting observations about fame on Celebrity ("I've only known a lust for VIP").

Musically it's cheerier than she's sounded in a long while, even though the stand-out, Celebrity, conjures up the mood of a snake pit with its agitating and spooky mantra. Then there's Woman Down, like an adult contemporary dance-pop piece similar to Music-era Madonna, which is a stark contrast to the soppy (albeit heartfelt) 'Til You and the proudly middle-of-the-road Empathy.

Stars: 3.5/5
Verdict: Finds true love and some new energy.
Buy this album here.

-TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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